Monday, July 26, 2010

~ "Going once, going twice - SOLD..."

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18-19)

The definition of the word redeem is "to recover ownership of by paying a specified sum". The price paid to redeem us was blood - precious blood! Redemption is about the shed blood of Jesus (no one else). Redemption doesn't come from an animal, it doesn't come from good works, it doesn't come by tithing - it doesn't even come from reading the Bible. Our redemption came as the "lamb without blemish and without spot" went to the cross and died.

In a beautiful sermon yesterday, my pastor gave a message that he titled "The Five Aspects of Redemption". As he spoke, he reminded me of certain things I already knew and made clearer a few that I didn't. We are redeemed from Satan, for ourselves and from sin (alcohol, drugs, immoral sex, lying, stealing...). We are an imperfect people created by a perfect God. I found myself listening as he shared questions we have as if I were a child in my mother's kitchen. Many of these were questions I'd asked as young woman: "Why did God have to have someone die? Why are all sins the same? Why can't he just snap his fingers and fix us?" The answer to all questions can be found in Genesis 1:31: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." The piece that eludes us sometimes is that we think one of two things: that we can do whatever we want and we're still going to heaven because we believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and came to earth and paid for our sins; or that we must continually do all kinds of "good deeds" to get into heaven (even though we believe Christ died for us). Building houses for the homeless is a very laudable task, as is feeding them, clothing them and comforting them. But why do we do it? Do we do it with the intent to have someone eulogize us with wonderful words, or do we do it because it is pleasing to God? Putting a dollar in the Salvation Army pot at Christmas time doesn't mean anything unless it's the only dollar you have. It's a feeble attempt at being a giver. Yes, the dollar helps, but how much more do you keep in your pocket because you need to buy presents for friends and loved ones?

God gave us everything we have, including our salvation, which was paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. All we need to do is ask him into our hearts and have him walk beside us. He loves us more than anyone we know and his love is eternal and everlasting. His blood opened the door to heaven for us. Open the door to your heart and let him in ~ as I've said before, the rewards are out of this world!

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